New potatoes have a delicate flavour and are usually available from the end of winter. They are young potatoes and unlike their fully grown counterparts, they keep their shape once cooked and cut. They are also sweeter because their sugar has not yet converted into starch, and are therefore particularly suited to salads.
Choose the best
Choose new potatoes that are firm, dry and blemish-free. Unwashed potatoes last longer as the dirt protects them from bruising and general deterioration.
How to prepare new potatoes
You don’t need to peel new potatoes; just rinse to remove any dirt and cook whole. To boil, place potatoes into a pan of lightly salted water, bring to the boil, simmer until tender (about 10 minutes) and drain. Dress new potatoes as soon as they are cooked to help them absorb the flavour of the butter or oil (this way you will also use less).
How to store new potatoes
Store new potatoes in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place. They should be used within a few days of purchase.
After years of consumer confusion about what a new potato is, and after extensive industry-wide consultation, Potatoes New Zealand has defined a new potato as ‘a young potato characterised by soft skin, so delicate it can be easily flicked off with your fingers’. If the skin cannot be flicked off, then the potato is not a new potato.